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Effect of a Multimodal Analgesic Protocol on Short-Term and Long-Term Opioid Use After Orthopaedic Trauma

NCJ Number
Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma Volume: 36 Issue: 8 Dated: 2022 Pages: 326-331
Date Published
6 pages

This study assessing the effects of a multimodal analgesic protocol on opioid use found that this protocol was associated with reductions in both short-term and long-term opioid use.


This study found that implementation of a multimodal analgesic protocol was associated with reductions in both short-term and long-term opioid use, including long-term opioid therapy, after orthopaedic trauma. The objective of this study was to determine whether the use of a multimodal analgesic protocol reduced short-term and long-term opioid use in patients hospitalized after orthopaedic trauma. The study design was a retrospective pre–post intervention study set in a regional, academic, Level 1 trauma center in Central Kentucky. Patients were hospitalized after orthopaedic injury before (n = 393) and after (n = 378) the implementation of a multimodal analgesic protocol. The intervention involved a multimodal analgesic protocol consisting of acetaminophen, ibuprofen/ketorolac, gabapentinoids, skeletal muscle relaxants, and standardized doses of opioids plus standardized pain management education before hospital discharge. End points included discharge opioid prescription, days' supply and daily morphine milligram equivalent (MME), and long-term opioid use after hospitalization. Opioid use in the 90 days before and after hospitalization was assessed using state prescription drug monitoring program data. Discharge opioid prescription rates were similar in the intervention and control cohorts [79.9% vs. 78.4%, odds ratio (OR) 1.30 (0.83–2.03), P = 0.256]. Patients in the intervention cohort received a shorter days' supply [5.7 ± 4.1 days vs. 8.1 ± 6.2 days, rate ratio 0.70 (0.65–0.76), P < 0.001] and lower average daily MME [34.8 ± 24.9 MME vs. 51.5 ± 44.0 MME, rate ratio 0.68 (0.62–0.75), P < 0.001]. The incidence of long-term opioid use was also significantly lower in the intervention cohort [7.7% vs. 12.0%, OR 0.53 (0.28–0.98), P = 0.044]. (Published Abstract Provided)

Date Published: January 1, 2022